This “metablog” is a blog about Buddhism for Vampires.
Mainly I will comment on The Vetali’s Gift. I would like it to stand alone as a novel—one that can be read simply for entertainment, by people with no particular interest in Buddhism. But the novel touches on many unusual aspects of Buddhism, and Indian history, about which I hope some readers will want to know more. Explaining these in the body of the novel would make it tediously dry. Footnotes are commonly found neither in novels nor web pages.1 So a blog seems the best format. I will post here after each episode, with background material that may make the novel-reading experience richer for those who want to know “why would she say that?” or “what is the deal with the leg bone?”
I will also use this metablog to talk about the process of writing itself. Essay writing has been my main mode of quasi-artistic expression all my life; it is something I have thought about a great deal. Writing a novel is a most interestingly different process. It seems to require a different kind of awareness; a different mode of attention; an alternate form of sensitivity.
I have never tried to write fiction of any sort before this. Writing a first novel in public, in serial form, in a genre I rarely read, is risky—bordering on insane. Readers with more experience than me can provide suggestions.
The metablog is also a place I can post brief pieces that do not neatly fit anywhere else, and that don’t merit the “essay” label. There are many short things I might like to say, but that don’t fit the structure or theme of the site.
A blog allows me to write less formally, more spontaneously and more often. Generally, I write slowly, partly because I try to be as precise as possible, and tend to polish nearly-complete pieces for weeks or months. One of the many things I admire about Will Buckingham’s thinkBuddha blog is that he posts something interesting, often profound, and beautifully written, weekly. I would love to be able to do that too.
A blog also is naturally part of a conversation, and I hope this one can be more interactive than a site full of “essays,” or an online novel. Your comments are most welcome.
- 1.Apparently this is an exception.